This afternoon Larry and I played Valentine fairies to the generation above us. We went to see his parents, and two 90 year old friends of my mother. One is a British lady who got to telling stories from World War II. It was so much fun to listen to her!
She told of rationing and how they were given two walnut sized pats of butter for the week...might have been month! Her suitor, who was an American GI brought her mother 2 lb of butter to impress her. He said he had been saving it in the closet. When he left, the mother said, "I am going to throw this butter out!" She asked why and mother said "because he had it in the closet around all those men!" "Closet" in England meant "water closet"...meaning outhouse...ha!
She went on to tell what the air raids were like and how people got used to them so sometimes did not hurry. She had a girl friend who set her hair in 50 little rollers to curl her hair at night. If a siren went off, she took all the rollers out, combed her hair and then left. When she got home, she re-set her hair all over again. One day she came into work very tired. Co-workers asked why? She said the sirens had gone off 5 times the night before and she had to re-do her hair each time!
Another story was how black-outs affected them. They had to have blackout drapes and if any glimpse of light escaped at night, an officer came around and tapped on their door to tell them "lights out!" There were of course no street lights on and head lights on cars had to have paperover them with only a small pin hole to see where they were going. Same went for the rare flash lights. Walks to and from places at night had to be done by "braille" of sorts. One foot was on the curb and one in the street with the route memorized. On a very dark night, she went out and unaware of a pole, ran into it leaving a goosebump on her head the next day. They hated full moons because more could be seen of towns and the countryside. Thus when air-raids happened toward the end of the war, large balloons were launched to cause confusion to enemy planes.
There were many more stories and I found all fascinating. What gems we have that we may never again when we listen to those older than us!!
4 days ago